Biomechanics is indeed the lifeline of modern day sports and daily activities. The joints are an important part of the body, and its activities and response to stress can provide valuable feedback on preventing certain conditions during old age.

The study of biomechanics spans disciplines such as engineering, anatomy, aerospace, rehabilitation, medicine, orthopedics, sport science, and many others. It studies structure and motion in animals, humans, and plant structures. As a discipline, chiropractic studies the biomechanics of human structure and motion. Mostly, they look at joints. Motion at a joint occurs as the result of movement of one joint surface in relation to another. Usually, one of the joint surfaces is more stable than the other and serves as a base for the motion, while the other surface moves on this relatively fixed base. When they look at the shoulder joint it can get a bit complicated, but since injuries occur in this joint often, it is imperative to master its anatomy.

The biomechanics of the joints do not always behave in a predictable fashion. They can roll and spin, or slide and glide. The human body, being such a masterful design, allows for this variation so that we don’t stumble when we walk or have other complications in movement. The shoulder’s anatomy offers little to resist injury, as the lateral shoulder tip has little protection from trauma. The length of the arm is basically a long lever with a large globular head within a tiny joint. This allows for a great range of motion but with little stability. So the stability of the shoulder comes from its surrounding soft tissues, capsule, muscles, and ligaments. The biomechanics of the scapula, clavicle, and the humerus function as a unit. Forces generated from or upon them will affect the other segments. The scapula’s design allows it to function as a base for humeral motion and at the same time to move independently of arm movement. The clavicle is a bony brace to the thorax and cervical spine. It forms a link with the scapula and protects the vital vessels at the base of the neck. The clavicle is necessary in all animals that need to climb, swim, or fly. It supports the shoulder joint, holding it outward so that the range of motion of the upper body is increased and improves muscle function.

The biomechanics of the shoulder, a ball and socket joint, lack the close connection between its articular surfaces as seen in other weight-bearing joints. In an optimal situation, a joint has a sufficient amount of play to allow normal motion at the joint. If the supporting joint structures are lax, the joint may have too much play and become unstable. Enter chiropractic. They can help, even in situations where the joint structures are too tight. If joint structures are unable to move, human motion is restricted and we feel pain as a result. Doctors of Chiropractic can help ease this pain with simple manipulations of joints.

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